Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve, 2009...Seaport Village...

Just back from Seaport Village. What a mob scene...and plenty of Nebraska people with red shirts, proud of having won the football game yesterday, 33-0!!! In the rain.

No rain today...Sunny San Diego is back for the New Year's weekend.

So the back porch of the Seaport Deli was crowded. Took my coffee to a front corner table and proceeded to wait out the group on my usual table, right behind me in the back corner. Guitarist playing soothing melodies on the stage in front of the carousel, a group of six at the front tables to my left...a guy in black t-shirt on each end, 3 young women and one older man on the sides.

The guy at the end nearest me was a non-stop talker. The girls laughed at all the appropriate places. The guy at the other end talked whenever he could break in. So between the two of them, they totally monopolized the conversation.

But finally the group at my usual back corner table left and I moved over there. The porch emptied eventually and all was peace and quiet but for the steady murmur of voices from the plaza tables.

Almost finished with my coffee when a big guy comes out of the deli with his lunch and a beer, sits down at the table in front of me, and says, "I hope I'm not blocking your view." I had to laugh. Of course he was.

So I finished the coffee and as I left, the guitarist was playing "Over the Rainbow".

No place like Seaport Village.

Happy New Year everybody! :))))


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Selection of Interesting, Up-coming Books....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly....


Leslie Daniels' CLEANING NABOKOV'S HOUSE, the spare, humorous and heart-wrenching story of a woman who, having recently lost her two kids in a custody battle, and left her beloved city behind for upstate, must creatively pull her life together before she can find her way, to Sulay Hernandez at Touchstone Fireside, in a nice deal, for publication in Spring 2011, by Molly Friedrich at Friedrich Agency (US).


Edgar Award-winner Eliot Pattison's ORIGINAL DEATH, a sequel to Eye of the Raven featuring Scottish-born sleuth Duncan McCallum who solves murders in colonial New England, to Charlie Winton at Counterpoint, by Natasha Kern at Natasha Kern Literary Agency (world English).

Liz Lipperman's debut DUCKS IN A ROW: A Casserole Lover Mystery, in which a woman with dreams of becoming a popular sports columnist gets stuck in a po-dunk town writing personal ads for a small time newspaper; when she's offered a chance to fill in for a local food critic off on sick leave, she jumps at the chance rationalizing that it's one step closer to her dream, but when a dead body is found underneath her apartment stairwell with her name and number along with it, she becomes the prime suspect, as well as, the main course on the murder menu, to Faith Black at Berkley Prime Crime, in a three-book deal, for publication in 2011-2012, by Christine Witthohn at Book Cents Literary Agency (NA).


Cecilia Grey's debut A LADY AWAKENED, about an iron-willed widow who makes a high-stakes bargain with a neighborhood rake to conceive a fraudulent heir and safeguard her liberty and inheritance, beginning the Blackshears series, to Shauna Summers at Bantam Dell, in a two-book deal, by Emmanuelle Alspaugh at Judith Ehrlich Literary Management.


Nicole Kelby's untitled novel, about food, inspired by the life and passions of Auguste Escoffier, brilliantly innovative French chef and international culinary star who deeply loved both his wife, Delphine, and the actress Sarah Bernhardt, examines the idea of the private versus public life while illuminating the spiritual and sensual nature of food and the decadent joy of unruly hearts, to Amy Cherry at Norton, by Lisa Bankoff at ICM (NA).

Author of THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE Julie Buxbaum's third novel THE MODERN GIRL'S HANDBOOK about a young woman's discovery of her grandmother's diary and the profound effect it has on her life again to Susan Kamil at Dial, for publication in 2012, by Elaine Koster at Elaine Koster Agency (US).

Laura Joh Rowland's THE RONIN'S MISTRESS and untitled Sano Ichiro novel -- the 15th and 16th in the series, surrounding a true incident in 18th century Japanese history wherein 47 ronin avenged their master's murder and became folk heroes before being forced to commit suicide, to Hope Dellon at St. Martin's, by Pam Ahearn at Ahearn Agency (World).



Actor, activist, and bestselling author Michael J. Fox's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FUTURE, a book for graduates, presenting his accumulated wisdom and lessons based on his life experiences, including such topics as ambition, curiosity, flexibility, the importance of mentors, and the power of facing both successes and setbacks with open eyes, again to Ellen Archer at Hyperion, with Leslie Wells editing, for publication in April 2010, by Amanda Urban at ICM (world).


Photographer John Abbott and jazz journalist and writer Bob Blumenthal's SAXOPHONE COLOSSUS: A Portrait of Sonny Rollins, prepared by the only two people Rollins has trusted to chronicle his life, based on the saxophonist's classic album as emblematic of his oeuvre, and scheduled for release on the legendary musician's 80th birthday in September 2010, to Deborah Aaronson at Abrams, by James Levine of Levine Greenberg Literary Agency, with Paul Bresnick of Paul Bresnick Literary Agency representing Blumenthal (world).

Former NYT reporter and Fortune editor at large Richard Siklos's untitled account of Michael Jackson's career and the rise and fall of his fortune, as well as a look at the entertainment industry and the machinery of modern superstardom, to Charlie Conrad at Broadway, in a pre-empt, by David Kuhn of Kuhn Projects (NA).


Owners of Fleisher's Grass-Fed & Organic Meats and leaders of the anti-feedlot/conventional meat movement, third-generation butcher Joshua Applestone and Jessica Applestone's, with Alexandra Zissu, guide to sourcing, purchasing, butchering, and cooking grass-fed and organic meat—including poultry, beef, lamb, and pork, to Rica Allannic at Clarkson Potter, by Amy Hughes of McCormick Williams (world).


Former NYT reporter and investment banker and head of federal government's automotive intervention team Steven Rattner's OVERHAUL, the story of the intense 150-day struggle to save the American auto industry as both Chrysler and GM struggled to stay afloat, to George Hodgman at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for publication in fall 2010, by Amanda Urban at ICM (NA).

Alan Dershowitz's analysis of our legal system over the past 50 years, told through the lens of the pivotal cases in the author's career, as well as the legal decisions he has not personally been involved in that have shaped American jurisprudence and that will continue to forge our future, to Roger Scholl at Broadway, for publication in Spring 2012, by Helen Rees at the Helen Rees Literary Agency (NA).


Actor and advocate for women's rights and breast cancer research Meredith Baxter's "candid and revealing" memoir of her eventful personal and professional life, presenting a portrait of her life as an actress, mother of five children, and grandmother, and discussing her fight with breast cancer, her 19 years of sobriety, entrepreneurship, and her recent decision to come out and announce that she is gay, to Diane Salvatore at Broadway, with Lorraine Glennon editing, by Dan Strone at Trident Media Group, with Alan Iezman at Shelter Entertainment Group (world).


Author and owner of downtown Manhattan's Pasanella & Son Vintners, Marco Pasanella's DON'T FORGET TO SPIT: Lessons from a Newfound Life in the Wine Trade, chronicling the birth of and daily life at his shop, along with a journey into the esoteric and often mysterious world of wine producing, distributing, selling, and consuming, to Doris Cooper at Clarkson Potter with Emily Takoudes editing, in a pre-empt, by David Kuhn at Kuhn Projects (world English).


Friday, December 18, 2009

FBI Linguist To Blogger....

From Secrecy News:


An Israeli-American attorney who worked for the FBI as a translator pled guilty yesterday to unlawfully disclosing five classified FBI documents to an unidentified blogger last April, who then published information from the documents on his blog, the Justice Department announced.

In a signed plea agreement (pdf), Shamai Leibowitz stipulated that he had "knowingly and willfully caused five documents, which were classified at the Secret level and contained classified information concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States, to be communicated... to a person not entitled to receive classified information ('Recipient A'). Recipient A was the host of a public web log ('blog') available to anyone with access to the Internet."

"Recipient A then published on the blog information derived from the classified documents provided to Recipient A by Leibowitz. As a result of these disclosures, intelligence sources and methods related to these documents were compromised," the plea agreement said.

Recipient A was not named, and has evidently not been charged with any misconduct. Leibowitz was charged under 18 U.S.C. 798, which prohibits unauthorized disclosure of communications intelligence information.

"The willful disclosure of classified information to those not entitled to receive it is a serious crime," said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. "Today’s guilty plea should serve as a warning to anyone in government who would consider compromising our nation’s secrets."

Prosecutors credited Mr. Leibowitz for his "apparent prompt recognition and affirmative acceptance of personal responsibility for his criminal conduct" as well as his "timely notification of his intention to plead guilty." Based on those and other factors, they proposed a sentence of 20 months imprisonment.

Though it has no bearing on the case, Mr. Leibowitz happens to be the grandson of Yeshayahu Leibowitz (1903-1994), a renowned Israeli scientist, orthodox Jewish philosopher, polemicist and political activist.

The case was first reported in "Israeli lawyer & peacenik guilty of leaking FBI secrets" by Josh Gerstein in Politico, December 17. Laura Rozen, also writing in Politico, provided additional background and proposed speculatively that Leibowitz's disclosures were behind an April 16, 2009 story in the New York Times on NSA's "overcollection" of domestic intelligence.

Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Don't Go Near THIS Machine....

THIS is one huge & dangerous machine...I kid you not:

If this link doesn't work, just google Monster Shredder.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Some very different books on the way....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly...

US Weekly film critic Thelma Adams's PLAYDATE, a suburban dramedy that follows the increasingly inappropriate entanglements of two families over four days as Santa Ana winds blow a brush fire toward the California coast, to Kathleen Gilligan at St. Martin's, by Rebecca Oliver at William Morris Endeavor (NA).


John le Carre's new book, moving to Kathryn Court at Viking (his move to Viking UK was announced previously), for publication in 2010, by Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown UK.


Cynthia Ozick's FOREIGN BODIES, set in post-war New York, Paris, and California, is the story of a divorced schoolteacher who tries to resolve her brother's family dramas, leading to extraordinary and wholly unanticipated results, to Bruce Nichols at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for publication in winter 2011, by Melanie Jackson at Melanie Jackson Agency (NA).

Wendy Wax's THE SAND CASTLE, the story of three women who lose everything to a Bernie Madoff-like scam, except a one-third share of a derelict beachfront mansion which they must somehow rebuild if they hope to do the same for their lives, to Wendy McCurdy at Berkley, for publication in 2011, in a two-book deal, by Stephanie Kip Rostan at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (NA).

AROHO Foundation Literary Gift of Freedom winner Summer Wood's WRECKER, about a young boy (called Wrecker) whose mother has been sent to prison, and the eclectic Northern California community that comes together to raise him in her absence, to Kathy Belden at Bloomsbury, and Helen Garnons-Williams at Bloomsbury UK, by Dan Conaway at Writers House (World English).



Author of Profile of a Prodigy and Fischer intimate Frank Brady's ENDGAME: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Bobby Fischer, a biography of one of the 20th century's most complex and tortured geniuses based on newly discovered documents left behind by the chess champion, who died in early 2008, exploring both Fischer;s mystique and his Howard Hughes-like descent into madness, to Rick Horgan at Crown, in a very good deal, for publication in 2010, by Jeff Schmidt at NY Creative Management (world).


Author of In the President's Secret Service Ronald Kessler's book on the FBI, to Mary Choteborsky at Crown, by Robert Gottlieb and Scott Miller at Trident Media Group.

Historian at the War College David Kaiser's HOW WE WENT TO WAR: Roosevelt, His Cabinet, and the Plan For Victory, based on previously untapped sources, pitched as a 'Team of Rivals' approach to the eighteen months of economic and military planning leading up to the US entry into WWII by examining FDR's leadership style and the struggle for consensus within his cabinet, to Lara Heimert at Basic, in a pre-empt, by Christy Fletcher and Donald Lamm at Fletcher & Company (NA)

Martin Sandler's THE LETTERS OF JOHN F. KENNEDY, the first-ever published collection of JFK's correspondence to and from everyone from Khrushchev to schoolchildren, to be published for fiftieth anniversary of Kennedy's death, to Peter Ginna at Bloomsbury, for publication in Fall 2013 (World).


New York magazine contributing writer Stephen Rodrick's THE MAGICAL STRANGER, about his father's fatal plane crash as a Navy pilot in 1979, as well as a contemporary story about the mission of Navy pilots, and the consequences that both have had for the families that are left behind, to Tim Duggan at Harper, by David McCormick at McCormick & Williams Literary Agency.

Debra Chwast and her son, painter Seth Chwast's AN UNEXPECTED LIFE, the heavily illustrated memoir of a young man with autism who has become a celebrated and award-winning painter, to Barbara Berger at Sterling, for publication in Spring 2010, by Faith Hamlin at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates (World).


Journalist Peter Zuckerman and Pakistan program director for the Mountain Fund Amanda Padoan's BURIED IN THE SKY, telling the story of the catastrophic K2 expedition of 2008 through the eyes of two Sherpa climbers who survived, and providing a window into the customs and cultures of the often-anonymous porters upon whom Western climbers depend, to Tom Mayer at Norton, at auction, for publication in 2011, by Dan Conaway and Stephen Barr at Writers House (NA).

NPR producer and contributor Charlie Schroeder's RE-ENACTOR: Learning About History One Bloodless Battle at a Time, in which an everyday guy humorously attempts to learn what he missed in history class by participating in fifteen different war re-enactments, from the Greeks to Vietnam, alongside the passionate hobbyists who live to recreate the past, to Meghan Stevenson at Hudson Street Press, at Jonathan Lyons at Lyons Literary (NA).


Saturday, December 05, 2009

A Film & Many Books On The Way....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly



Gemma Halliday's PLAY DEAD, pitched in the spirit of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, in which a woman who faked her death fifteen years ago to escape life as an assassin has been discovered by men who want her dead -- for good -- and must join one of her would-be killers to save her own life and stop a political assassination, to Allison Caplin at Minotaur, in a two-book deal, by Holly Root at Waxman Literary Agency (NA).


RITA finalist and Daphne DuMaurier award winner Nina Bruhns's romantic suspense trilogy in red, white and blue based on the ideals of Blood, Valor, and Honor each featuring a different branch of courageous men in uniform and heroines who keep our country safe and secure, to Kate Seaver at Berkley, in a three-book deal, by Natasha Kern at the Natasha Kern Literary Agency (World).


IN HOVERING FLIGHT author Joyce Hinnefeld's STRANGER HERE BELOW, in which young women, one haunted by the past and the other utterly fearless, forge a troubled friendship in Kentucky in the early 1960s, to Fred Ramey at Unbridled Books, for publication in Fall 2010, by Liv Blumer at The Blumer Agency (World).


Karen McQuestion's A SCATTERED LIFE, claiming to be the first self-published Kindle novel to be optioned to film, to Hiding In Bed, with Eric Lake producing.



Chief Risk Officer at Alliance Bernstein David Martin's RISK AND THE SMART INVESTOR, the critical rules investors must know in order to make the right investment and financial decisions, to Leah Spiro at McGraw-Hill, for publication in Fall 2010, by Jacqueline Flynn at Joelle Delbourgo Associates.


Political blogger Michael Wolraich's HOW BILL O'REILLY SAVED CHRISTMAS, examining the right wing's tactic of persecution politics and sifting through the delusions of prominent politicians and pundits who imagine a liberal plot to oppress white Christian conservatives; exploring the history of the trend, dissecting the conspiracy theories, and examining the implications for the future of American politics, to Bob Pigeon at Da Capo, by Jane Dystel at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (World).

Author of books including LOST CHICAGO and STANFORD WHITE'S NEW YORK, David Garrard Lowe's MAGNIFICENT ENEMIES: Richard Morris Hunt, Frederick Law Olmsted, and the Epic Rivalry Behind America's Greatest Architecture, about these two titans who would find themselves pitted against each other, grappling to implement their vision -- and in the process, America's greatest and most memorable designs, from Central Park to Washington, DC's Mall, to Jonathan Galassi at Farrar, Straus, for publication in fall 2012, by Noah Lukeman of Lukeman Literary Management (world).

King's College, London professor of public policy, advisor to the EC, UN & UK, and broadcaster Alison Wolf's THE END OF SISTERHOOD: A New Divide among Women and How Female Success is Changing all our Lives, an investigation of the unintended consequences of women's rise in the workforce and specifically the knock-on effect (at home, in the workforce and in society at large) of the rise of "elite" women, using evolutionary psychology and behavioral economics to examine the growing divide between educated, often childless career women and other women, to Vanessa Mobley at Broadway, at auction, by Zoe Pagnamenta at the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency (US). Foreign rights to Diane Turbide at Penguin Canada and to Sarah Caro at Profile, at auction, in her first acquisition for the list.


MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE and Disney's THE REPLACEMENTS writer and current FAMILY GUY staffer Dave Ihlenfeld's DOG DAYS, humorously chronicling a post-collegiate year spent driving the iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile around the U.S. and Europe, to Iris Blasi at Union Square Press, in a nice deal, for publication in September 2011, by Jeff Schmidt at NY Creative Management (World).


Svante Paabo's ANCIENT GENES, hunting for the Neanderthal genome to answer the biggest question of them all: what does it mean to be human, to T.J. Kelleher at Basic, for publication in Fall 2011, by John Brockman at Brockman (NA).


Stephen Sondheim's two-volume memoir, FINISHING THE HAT, for publication in fall 2010, and LOOK, I MADE A HAT, for publication in 2011, to Louisa Joyner at Virgin, by Sara Menguc, on behalf of Helen Brann. US rights to Knopf.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Intel: Iran's Naval Forces....

From Secrecy News...


A new report (pdf) from the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence describes Iran's naval order of battle, as well as the Iranian Navy's history, strategic options, and favored tactics.

"Today, Iran's naval forces protect Iranian waters and natural resources, especially Iran's petroleum-related assets and industries. Iranian maritime security operations guard against the smuggling of illegal goods (especially drugs) and immigrants, and protect against the poaching and stealing of fish in territorial waters."

"Additionally, Iran uses its naval forces for political ends such as naval diplomacy and strategic messaging. Most of all, Iranian naval forces are equipped to defend against perceived external threats. Public statements by Iranian leaders indicate that they would consider closing or controlling the Strait of Hormuz if provoked, thereby cutting off almost 30 percent of the world's oil supply."

The unclassified U.S. intelligence assessment was published on the Office of Naval Intelligence website, but last week it was abruptly withdrawn, along with another ONI report on China's navy. A copy of the report was obtained by Secrecy News. See "Iran's Naval Forces: From Guerilla (sic) Warfare to a Modern Naval Strategy," Fall 2009.


From Thrillers to Science..New Books Coming...

From Publishers Lunch Weekly....


Susan Froderberg's OLD BORDER ROAD, about a girl who marries too young and suffers the consequences, in a lonely part of the American desert, to Pat Strachan at Little, Brown, by Liz Darhansoff of Darhansoff, Verrill, Feldman (World).


Amanda Kyle Williams's THE STRANGER YOU SEEK, adopted by white southern parents as a child, a Chinese American former FBI profiler is a walking, talking, bundle of contradictions, constantly stumbling over herself as witnessed by her FBI career cut short by alcoholism; she is unofficially hired by her best friend and secret crush, an Atlanta police lieutenant, to find a serial killer wrecking havoc on the citizens of Atlanta, to Kate Miciak and Nita Taublib at Bantam Dell, in a three-book deal, for publication in Spring 2011, by Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates (NA).

NYT bestselling author Ridley Pearson's new series featuring operatives for an international security firm tasked with high-profile corporate problem solving -- kidnappings, extractions, extortion -- that takes them around the globe, case-by-case, from Shanghai to Rio to Zurich and beyond, again to Ivan Held and Christine Pepe at Putnam, in a two-book deal, by Amy Berkower and Dan Conaway at Writers House (NA).

No. 1 NYT-bestselling author John Sandford's twenty-first novel in the Prey series featuring protagonist Lucas Davenport, for publication in Spring 2011, and the fourth novel in the Virgil Flowers series, for publication in Fall 2010, again to Neil Nyren at Putnam, with paperbacks from Berkley, by Esther Newberg at ICM.


Elizabeth Speller's THE RETURN OF CAPTAIN JOHN EMMETT, the first in a series of literary mystery novels set in England between World War I and World War II, to Tom Bouman at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in a two-book deal, by Georgina Capel at Capel & Land (NA).


R.L. Stine, ed.'s FEAR: 13 Stories of Mystery and Suspense, including original stories by Meg Cabot, James Rollins and Heather Graham, among others; a minimum of 50 percent of all profits from ITW will be donated to Reading Is Fundamental, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preparing and motivating children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most, to Maureen Sullivan at Dutton Children's, by Loretta Barrett of Barrett Books (NA).
Brazilian rights to Rocco, in a nice deal, by Nick Mullendore at Loretta Barrett Books, in association with Flavia Sala at International Editors'.



NYT reporter Jodi Kantor's book about the Obamas, following her recent Times magazine cover story about their marriage (and following fellow NYT reporter Rachel Swarns' recent sale of a book about Michelle Obama's family), to Geoff Shandler at Little, Brown, at auction, by Elyse Cheney at Elyse Cheney Agency.

Author of the bestselling lives of Charles Schulz and N.C. Wyeth David Michaelis's fully-rounded one-volume portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt, the most admired woman of the 20th century, to David Rosenthal and Alice Mayhew at Simon & Schuster, for publication in 2015, by Melanie Jackson at the Melanie Jackson Agency (World English).


Syndicated personal finance columnist Liz Weston's THE NEW MONEY BIBLE, to Caroline Sutton at Hudson Street Press, in a pre-empt, in a good deal, by Stephen Hanselman of LevelFiveMedia (World).

Wall Street veteran and author Andy Kessler's untitled book, featuring twelve rules for getting rich - not moving money around rich, or soak the poor rich, but something that will create vast sustainable wealth - individual wealth AND societal wealth, to David Moldawer at Portfolio, by Pilar Queen at McCormick & Williams Literary Agency (world).


NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep's deeply reported portrait of Karachi, Pakistan -- a city that illuminates the complexities, perils and possibilities of rapidly growing metropolises around the world, to Laura Stickney at the Penguin Press, at auction, for publication in Winter 2012, by Gail Ross at the Gail Ross Literary Agency (world English).

Historian and Verso editorial director Tom Penn's WINTER KING, GLORIOUS PRINCE: The Dawn of Tudor England, the first book to tell the full story of how the Tudors came to be, and of a dark struggle between Henry VII and his son Henry VIII, which gave birth to early modern England, to Bob Bender at Simon & Schuster, for publication in 2011, by Anna Stein at Aitken Alexander, on behalf of Andrew Kidd (NA).

Author of Selling of the President 1968 and Going to Extremes, Joe McGinniss's investigative narrative of Sarah Palin's significance as both political and cultural phenomenon and as an embodiment of the contradictory forces that shaped Alaska as it moved into its second half-century as a state, to Charlie Conrad at Broadway, for publication in Fall 2011, by David Larabell at the David Black Literary Agency (World).


Comedic writer and former radio host April Winchell's REGRETSY, based on the popular blog of the same name; featuring a collection of the oddest, most humorous, and most disturbing crafts the world has ever seen, along with commentary provided by the author, to Jill Schwartzman at Villard, for trade paperback publication, in a pre-empt, by Meg Thompson at LJK Literary Management (world English).


Former NYT reporter Katie Hafner's MOTHER DAUGHTER ME, the poignant and often humorous memoir of her experience living as a single mother with her 78-year-old-mother and 16-year-old daughter, to Susan Kamil and Beth Rashbaum at Random House, by James Levine at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (NA).


The Mozart Effect author Don Campbell and founder and CEO of Advanced Brain Technologies Alex Doman's HEALING AT THE SPEED OF SOUND, how the new science of sound and music can help us improve our lives, to Caroline Sutton at Hudson Street Press, by Gail Ross at Gail Ross Literary Agency.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Interesting Selection of Books....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Kamala Nair's THE GIRL IN THE GARDEN, the redemptive journey of a young woman unsure of her engagement, who revisits in memory the events of one scorching childhood summer when her beautiful yet troubled mother spirits her away from her home to an Indian village untouched by time, where she discovers in the jungle behind her ancestral house a spellbinding garden that harbors a terrifying secret, to Karen Kosztolnyik at Grand Central, by Marly Rusoff at Marly Rusoff & Associates (world English).


Ace Atkins's two Quinn Colson novels, featuring an Army Ranger who returns to his rural Mississippi county to find it overrun by corruption and his uncle, the sheriff, dead -- the beginning of a trail that will lead him not only to the killers but to a new career, to Neil Nyren at Putnam, for publication in 2011 and 2012, by Esther Newberg at ICM (NA).


NYT bestselling author Kimberla Lawson Roby's LOVE, HONOR AND BETRAY, featuring the Reverend Curtis Black, the character Roby's readers most love to hate, moving to Karen Thomas at Grand Central, in a four-book deal, for publication beginning in Winter 2011, by Elaine Koster at the Elaine Koster Agency.

National Book Award finalist Bonnie Jo Campbell's ONCE UPON A RIVER, a young woman's Huck-Finn-like river odyssey to find her future in the wake of her father's death, to Jill Bialosky at Norton, at auction, by Bill Clegg at William Morris Endeavor (NA).

Michael Stanley's THE DEATH OF THE MANTIS, the third Detective Kubu novel, in which a series of unexplained and apparently unconnected deaths hits the southern Kalahari in Botswana, leading to tension with the Bushman people and conflict in the Criminal Investigation Department, which Kubu tries to resolve while investigating the murders, to Claire Wachtel at Harper, in a nice deal, by Marly Rusoff at Marly Rusoff & Associates (world English).

Todd Gitlin's UNDYING, about a philosopher, who is diagnosed with lymphoma while struggling to write a book contending that Friedrich Nietzsche's thought stemmed from his ill heath, and who is also compelled to contend with a severely errant daughter, as well as the trauma of George W. Bush's 2004 victory, to Jack Shoemaker at Counterpoint, by Ellen Levine at Trident Media Group.


Author of The Lady and the Panda Vicki Constantine Croke's THE WAY OF THE ELEPHANT, a biography of Lieutenant Colonel J. H. Williams, who was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his critical contribution to the Allied Campaign during the jungle fighting in WWII Burma; on the eve of the decisive battle for Burma, J.H. Williams attempts to rescue 53 elephants coveted by the enemy, as well as a large group of Nepalese refugees, to Jane Von Mehren at Random House, in a pre-empt, by Laura Blake Peterson at Curtis Brown.


Kit Wohl's THE JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION'S 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION COOKBOOK, featuring the twenty recipients of the Chef of the Year Awards, with 100 recipes adapted from their kitchens to home kitchens; highlighted by personal profiles and culinary escapades, their inspirations and what drives a chef to the top; photography includes the restaurants, behind the scenes operations, menus and food, to Bill LeBlond at Chronicle, for publication in Fall 2011, by Maura Kye-Casella of Don Congdon Associates.


Washington Post foreign correspondent Blaine Harden's ESCAPE FROM CAMP 14, the inside story of the N. Korea gulag told through the tortuous journey of the only prisoner to be born in the camps and to have escaped and discovered freedom for the first time - opening a window into the enigma of the country, to Kathryn Court at Viking, by Rafe Sagalyn at The Sagalyn Agency (NA).
UK rights to Macmillan and French rights to Belfond, in a pre-empt.

Editor of the New York Review Books Classics series Edwin Frank's STRANGER THAN FICTION: The Life of the Twentieth Century Novel, a provocative cultural history, international in scope, of the development of then twentieth-century novel that is also a novel history of the twentieth century, looking at how the novel confronted war, atrocity, economic depression, and other political and cultural upheavals, to Jonathan Galassi at Farrar, Straus, in a pre-empt, with Lorin Stein editing, by Zoe Pagnamenta at the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency (world English).
UK rights:
All other rights:


Korean-American journalist Euna Lee's THE WORLD IS BIGGER NOW: A Memoir of Faith, Family and Freedom, about her experiences, with fellow Current TV journalist Laura Ling, being captured, incarcerated, and condemned to hard labor this year in communist North Korea, detailing her 140 days of imprisonment and her efforts to protect her sources and the subjects of her reporting under interrogation, along with describing how her deep Christian faith and belief in family sustained her during her captivity, to Diane Salvatore at Broadway, with Vanessa Mobley editing, by Jennifer Gates and Todd Shuster of the Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency.


Is This Justice?

From Secrecy News:


The role of military commissions in adjudicating the cases of suspected terrorist detainees at Guantanamo and elsewhere was critically examined in two House Judiciary Subcommittee hearings last July, the records of which have just been published.

"My concern remains," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who chaired the hearings, "that we may be creating a system in which we try you in Federal court if we have strong evidence, we try you by military commission if we have weak evidence, and we detain you indefinitely if we have no evidence."

"That is not a justice system," Rep. Nadler said.

See "Legal Issues Surrounding the Military Commissions System," July 8, 2009; and "Proposals for Reform of the Military Commissions System," July 30, 2009.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Getting Your Fish & Eating...What?.....


Comparing Farmed-Raised Fish To Wild-Caught
Eating fish is an often-heard recommendation for a healthy diet. You've probably heard that fish, especially salmon, is rich in omega-3's an essential fatty acid. Are all fish created equal? We discuss the differences between farmed and wild-caught fish.
By Megan Burke, Maureen Cavanaugh

These Days | Thursday, November 12, 2009

Public Info:

Green Chefs, Blue Ocean

A comprehensive, interactive online sustainable seafood training program and resource center.

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Seafood Watch

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH (Host): I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. You're listening to These Days on KPBS. As more people become vegetarians, even greater numbers of people become ‘almost’ vegetarians, people who say they no longer eat red meat or chicken but limit the meat in their diet to fish. They’re called pescatarians. Even the rest of us are often urged by nutritionists to eat less beef and more fish because of its health benefits. But as the KPBS series “Food” continues, we learn it's not as easy to get away from the cow as you might think. Reporter Joanne Faryon is here to explain as her investigation into the food we eat goes underwater to examine the fish we eat. Welcome, Joanne.

JOANNE FARYON (KPBS Reporter): Hi, Maureen.

CAVANAUGH: And I’d like to introduce my other guests. Andrew Spurgin is head chef of Waters Fine Catering, and co-founder of the group Passionfish, which is dedicated to sustainable fishing and fish harvesting. Andrew, welcome. Thanks for coming in.

ANDREW SPURGIN (Head Chef, Waters Fine Catering): My pleasure. Thank you.

CAVANAUGH: And Don Kent is Senior Research Biologist, Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute. Don, welcome.

DON KENT (President and Senior Research Biologist, Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute): Good morning. Thank you for having me.

CAVANAUGH: And we invite our listeners to join the conversation. If you have a question about the fish you’re buying for dinner or a comment, how fish are farmed and raised, give us a call, 1-888-895-5727, that’s 1-888-895-KPBS. Joanne, let me start with you. What did you want to know when you started researching “The Fish We Eat?”

FARYON: Well, first we learned that it is an increasing part of our diet. The average American eats about 70 pounds of fish per year. Half of that fish is actually farmed fish and 80% of that farmed fish is imported. So we really wanted to know when I’m buying farmed fish, particularly salmon because salmon is one of the species that we consume most of, you know, what’s the difference really between farmed and wild? Is it as healthy? And, in particular, what about omega-3s because we hear a lot about omega-3 and that’s the healthy fat in salmon. Wendy Fry, one of our producers on this series spent a lot of time reading—really, it’s a debate—reading the one side and the other side. You have the people on the side of farmed salmon saying, no, you know, you get a lot of healthy omega-3s out of this, and then you have the other argument, no, it’s not the same nutritionally. Ultimately, it comes down to what are we feeding our farmed fish? That really can affect the nutrition.

[Use link above to continue reading]


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lots of Books & A Film Coming....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Scholastic editor-in-chief and best selling YA author David Levithan's first adult novel, THE LOVER'S DICTIONARY, an alphabetically episodic narrative that traces the ups and downs of an urban romance, to Jonathan Galassi at Farrar, Straus, in a pre-empt, by Bill Clegg at William Morris Endeavor.

Dipika Rai's SOMEONE ELSE'S GARDEN, an epic tale of mothers and daughters and of love and rejection which explores the essence of abject cruelty and flawless goodness that defines the Indian soul, to Jeanette Perez at Harper, for publication in Spring 2011, by Diane Banks at Diane Banks Associates (NA).
UK rights to Clare Smith at Harper UK.


Robotics engineer and How to Survive a Robot Uprising and Bro-Jitsu author Daniel Wilson's ROBOPOCALYPSE, about the fate of the human race following a robot uprising, to Jason Kaufman at Doubleday, in a pre-empt, for publication in 2011, by Laurie Fox at the Linda Chester Literary Agency (world).
Film rights announced simultaneously to Mark Sourian and Holly Bario at DreamWorks, for "accelerated development," by Justin Manask.

Author of The Death and Life of Bobby Z and The Power of the Dog, Don Winslow's SAVAGES, a gritty, humorous, and drug-fueled ransom thriller set amidst the Baja Cartel in Laguna Beach, CA, for publication in July 2010, and THE GENTLEMEN'S HOUR, for publication in July 2011, moving to David Rosenthal at Simon & Schuster from Knopf, with Sarah Hochman editing, by Richard Pine at Inkwell Management (NA).


John Pippin's THE BLIND ASTRONOMER'S NOTEBOOK, set in 1798, with a young woman's return to Ireland and her discovery of a notebook left by her late father (a blind astronomer who spent his life futilely searching for a new planet), who becomes determined to complete her father's work, caught in a race against astronomers throughout Europe looking for the same planet while contending with a violent rebellion at home that threatens to destroy her father's observatory, to Nan Talese at Nan A. Talese, in a very nice deal, by Marly Rusoff at Marly Rusoff & Associates (NA).

Annabel Lyon's THE GOLDEN MEAN, about the philosopher Aristotle's relationship with his student, the teenage Alexander the Great, to Diana Coglianese and Sonny Mehta at Knopf, at auction, by Denise Bukowski at The Bukowski Agency (US).
Foreign rights to Roca Editorial, at auction, by Sandra Bruna; to Editions la Table Ronde in France, by Anna Jarota; and to Leya Brasil in Brazil, by Joao Paulo Riff.


Crystal Allen's HOW LAMAR'S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY, in which a 13-year-old vows to spend the summer changing his image from dud to stud, to Kristin Daly at Harper, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in 2011 and 2012, by Jennifer Rofe at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency (world).


Author of RIBBLESTROP, Andy Mulligan's TRASH, a "nail-biter" about children who survive, against the odds, with a set of instincts and skills that just keep them breathing, pitched as a read for all ages, to David Fickling Books, at auction in the UK, and then in a pre-empt for the US, for simultaneous publication in fall 2010, by Jane Turnbull at The Turnbull Agency, and Ken Wright at Writers House acting on behalf of Turnbull (world English).
Spanish rights to Sigrid Kraus at Salamandra, in a pre-empt, by Sally Riley at Aitken Alexander.


NYT reporter Rachel Swarns' expansion of her recent front page story on First Lady Michelle Obama's sweeping family history, describing the first white ancestors in her family tree and tracing the earliest steps of her clan as they journeyed over five generations from slavery to the White House, to Dawn Davis at Amistad, in a pre-empt, by Flip Brophy at Sterling Lord Literistic (world).


Executive chef Daniel Humm and general manager Will Guidara's ELEVEN MADISON PARK: The Cookbook, with 100 seasonally arranged recipes and behind-the-scenes vignettes highlighting the philosophy of continual reinvention at the dining spot recently described by Frank Bruni as "among the most alluring and impressive restaurants in New York" in a coveted four-star review, to Michael Sand at Little, Brown, in a good deal, by David Black at the David Black Literary Agency.


Andrew Feinstein's MERCHANTS OF DEATH: Inside the Global Arms Trade, the global arms industry accounts for 40% of all corruption in all world trade and is shrouded in secrecy; investigating how the international arms trade operates and what motivates those in the business and the governments who do business with them, to Eric Chinski at Farrar, Straus, by Sarah Hunt Cooke at Penguin UK (US).

NYT bestselling author of WORSE THAN WATERGATE, CONSERVATIVES WITHOUT CONSCIENCE John Dean's next book, again to Rick Kot at Viking, by Lydia Wills at Paradigm (world).

Journalist Jay Bahadur's THE PIRATES OF PUNTLAND: An Inside Look at the World's Last Buccaneers, drawing on the author's travels into the heart of Somalia, to the autonomous but internationally unrecognized region of Puntland, to give the world a better understanding of the human beings and politics behind Somalia's notorious sea pirates, to Jim Gifford at Harper Canada, Vicky Wilson at Pantheon, Daniel Crewe at Profile, at auction, and Henry Rosenbloom at Scribe, for Australian and New Zealand rights, for publication in Fall 2010, by Rick Broadhead at Rick Broadhead & Associates.


Former NBC president of entertainment Warren Littlefield's memoir, documenting his tenure overseeing the Must-See TV years at NBC, moving a floundering network to prime-time dominance, written with author and screenwriter T.R. Pearson, to Bill Thomas at Doubleday, by David Black of the David Black Literary Agency (NA).


Rebecca Costa's first book, THE WATCHMAN'S RATTLE: A New Way to Understand Complexity, Collapse and Correction, positing that escalating complexity has led to conditions -- worldwide recession, global warming, pandemic viruses -- that have outpaced our actual ability to manage them, comparing our current state to the "cognitive gridlock" that brought down the Mayans, Romans, the Ming Dynasty, Byzantine Empire, along with scientific evidence that the human brain can be retrained to comprehend, analyze, and resolve massively complex problems, to Roger Cooper at Vanguard Press, for publication in fall 2010, by Arthur Klebanoff at the Scott Meredith Agency and David Nelson at Waterside Productions.


Friday, November 06, 2009

McGovern on Abe Lincoln...

From KPBS San Diego:

By Maureen Cavanaugh

These Days | Wednesday, November 4, 2009

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH (Host): I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. You're listening to These Days on KPBS. Many books have been written about the life of Abraham Lincoln and many of them have been quite daunting in both length and scope. A new volume, part of the American Presidents Series, manages to present the life, challenges, controversies, victories and tragedies of Lincoln in a clear and compact format. Perhaps that's because the author, my guest Senator George McGovern, after a lifetime in politics, has a unique insight into some of the challenges and hard decisions Lincoln was called upon to make. George McGovern represented South Dakota in the U.S. Senate from 1963 to 1981. He is perhaps best known as the Democratic presidential nominee in 1972. Senator McGovern is also an historian, the author of more than a dozen books and, along with former Senator Bob Dole, the recipient of the 2008 World Food Prize for his work on an international school food program. And, as I mentioned, his latest book is titled “Abraham Lincoln.” It's a pleasure to welcome you, Senator McGovern, to These Days.

SENATOR GEORGE MCGOVERN (Author): It’s good to be on your program.

CAVANAUGH: Thank you. Now since you’re an historian, before you wrote this book, you must’ve thought you knew quite a lot about President Lincoln. I’m wondering, did you learn things researching this book that surprised you?

MCGOVERN: Yes, I wouldn’t say any dramatic things that brought me right out of my chair but I did learn the depth of his character better than I had understood it before. He was a great man. He was not only a great president—some historians say our greatest president—but he was a very great human being, overcame incredible handicaps in order to win the White House and then preside, I think, brilliantly as President of the United States.

CAVANAUGH: Now the story, the great story, of Lincoln, his birth in the log cabin, his struggles with his own personal melancholy, his compassion during the war, this has inspired so many Americans, including our current president. And what is it that you think about the way President Lincoln handled adversity that we find so compelling?

MCGOVERN: Well, who would’ve thought that a man with only two years of formal education, even that was hit or miss at times, sometimes dependent on traveling teachers that would visit the village, who would’ve guessed that he could emerge with enough wisdom to become a great President of the United States. But in that less than two years of education that he had, he learned to read and he learned to write, and he never quit. For the rest of his life, he was reading, reading, reading, reading. Every time he could get his hands on a book, he devoured it. His father couldn’t accept that. His father was a hardworking farmer, and that’s a tough job. I know that, having grown up in South Dakota. But when he would assign a task to young Abe Lincoln, frequently an hour later he’d find him leaning up against a tree reading a book, and it drove him wild. The differences between the two men became so intense that Lincoln left home and didn’t even attend his father’s funeral.


[Use link above to continue reading}


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Terrific Read on North Korea....



Friday, October 30, 2009

Keeping An Eye On Intelligence .....

From Secrecy News...


In a move that will strengthen internal executive branch oversight of intelligence, President Obama this week said that a White House intelligence oversight board will be required to alert the Attorney General whenever it learns of "intelligence activities that involve possible violations of Federal criminal laws." A similar requirement for the board to notify the Attorney General had been canceled by President Bush in February 2008. President Obama reversed that step in his executive order 13516 on the authorities of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB) and the Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB).

The new Obama order also restores to the PIAB and the IOB some of the other teeth that the Bush Administration had removed. The order states that the Director of National Intelligence and others "shall provide such information and assistance as the PIAB and the IOB determine is needed to perform their functions." The Bush order had only spoken of "such information and assistance as the PIAB and the IOB may need to perform functions under this order." So the new order (like the prior Clinton order) helpfully specifies that the PIAB and the IOB are the ones who will "determine" what they need--not the DNI or anyone else.

The Obama order does not restore the Clinton-era requirement that all intelligence agencies heads report quarterly to the IOB. Instead, as in the Bush order, the DNI is to report to the Board at least twice a year.

The Obama order states that the PIAB membership should be comprised of individuals "who are not full-time employees of the Federal Government." Previously, they had to be "not employed by the Federal Government" at all. The basis for this change is unclear.

Strengthening internal oversight of intelligence activities is among the easiest of changes to Bush Administration intelligence policy that the Obama Administration could be expected to make. The action does not entail any increase in public disclosure or congressional reporting concerning intelligence activities, not does it infringe on executive authority in any way.

On October 28, President Obama announced the appointment of former Senators Chuck Hagel and David Boren to the PIAB, which had been vacant until then.

"We are off to a good start with this meeting by welcoming the press, which past advisory boards have rarely done," the President said. "That's a reflection of my administration's commitment to transparency and open government, even, when appropriate, on matters of national security and intelligence." But judging from a published transcript, no matters of substance were discussed and no questions from the press were taken at the meeting.


Friday, October 16, 2009

The President PROPOSES....

...but the Congress disposes:

From :

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Hold Your Breath
President Barack Obama is getting a raft of grief for his failure to deliver on a number of his campaign promises, including his pledge to end the ban on gays serving openly in the U.S. military. But what all these critics always miss is that the president can't change the law that forces gays in uniform to cover-up their sexuality. Only Congress can....More


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Secrets Plus....

From Secrecy News:


Counterinsurgency refers to "comprehensive civilian and military efforts taken to simultaneously defeat and contain insurgency and address its core grievances," a new publication from the Joint Chiefs of Staff explains. See Joint Publication 3-24 on "Counterinsurgency Operations" (pdf), 249 pages, October 5, 2009. (JP 3-24 is not to be confused with the celebrated December 2006 Army Field Manual 3-24 on "Counterinsurgency" [pdf].)

Former Bush White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan wrote a book last year in which he faulted the Bush Administration for a lack of candor in connection with the war in Iraq, mishandling of classified information in the Scooter Libby case, and other defects. A contentious House Judiciary Committee hearing on the matter was held on June 20, 2008, the record of which has just been published (pdf), with an August 2009 response from Mr. McClellan.

The Czech Republic's Security Information Service (BIS) has published its 2008 annual report (pdf).

Trinidad and Tobago signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty last week becoming the 182nd nation to have signed the treaty, which would prohibit all nuclear explosive tests.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Big Batch of Books & Some films.....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Urban Waite's THE TERROR OF LIVING, involving a drug deal gone wrong and an unstoppable hired killer, pitched as a young Cormac McCarthy, and DEAD IF I DON'T, to Judy Clain at Little, Brown, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Nat Sobel at Sobel Weber Associates (US).

Helen Grant's THE VANISHING OF KATHARINA LINDEN, a tale of abduction, murder, gossip and childhood imagination, and THE GLASS DEMON, to Kate Miciak at Bantam Dell, for publication in August 2010, by Camilla Bolton at Darley Anderson (US).

David Rocklin's THE LUMINIST, set in colonial Ceylon amidst brewing political unrest and loosely based on the famed Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, in which a young Ceylonese man and the British wife of a colonial governor bond over their mutual fascination with the burgeoning art of photography, a sweeping historical tale about colonialism, art, war and family; pitched as in the spirit of Daniel Mason's The Piano Tuner, to Kate Sage at Hawthorne Books, by Melissa Chinchillo and Christy Fletcher at Fletcher & Company (NA).
Italian and Hebrew rights previously to Neri Pozza and Kinneret.
UK and translation:


Erin Brockovich's novel about a woman who uncovers corporate and environmental crimes, to Roger Cooper at Vanguard Press, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2010, by Mel Berger at William Morris Endeavor (NA).


Cara Hoffman's SO MUCH PRETTY, in which a young woman's disappearance from a rural New York town exposes the community's failure to acknowledge a murderer in their midst, ensnaring another local girl in a sickening web as a reporter looking for her "big-picture" story scrambles to reveal the truth before it's too late, to Sarah Knight at Shaye Areheart Books, for publication in 2011, by Rebecca Friedman at Sterling Lord Literistic (world).

Author of CITY OF LIGHT, Lauren Belfer's A FIERCE RADIANCE, both a love story and thriller set against the secret race to develop the arsenal of "weapons of life" -- now known as antibiotics -- that illuminates the struggle of one family to cohere amid the passions, betrayals, and triumphs of World War II, from the streets of Manhattan to the battlefields of North Africa, to Claire Wachtel and Jonathan Burnham at Harper, for publication in June 2010, by Lisa Bankoff at ICM (NA and translation).

Adam Foulds's THE QUICKENING MAZE, a Man-Booker shortlisted historical novel about genius and madness, revolving around nature poet John Clare and the young Alfred Tennyson who happened to stay at the same lunatic asylum in the mid-nineteenth century, and Foulds's Costa Prize winning prose poem, THE BROKEN WORD, about the Mau Mau uprising, to Josh Kendall at Viking, by Zoe Pagnamenta at the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency, on behalf of Anna Webber at United Agents (for the novel) and Jane Kirby at Cape/RH UK (for the poem).



BIRTH author Tina Cassidy's JACKIE AFTER O, writing how in one year, an American icon lost her husband, saved a landmark, and found herself, to Carrie Kania and Claire Wachtel for It Books, by Richard Abate at 3 Arts Entertainment (World).


Associate professor of history and public policy at the Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University Jeffrey Engel's WHEN THE WORLD SEEMED NEW: American Foreign Policy in the Age of George H. W. Bush, examining the foreign policy of George H.W. Bush's presidency, during one of history's great turning points: the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Tiananmen Square Massacre, and the Persian Gulf War; based on interviews with the principals, and access to new documents including the heretofore classified Brent Scowcroft Papers, to Bruce Nichols at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, by Andrew Wylie (NA).

British historian and author of ENGLAND'S MISTRESS and BECOMING QUEEN, Kate Williams's MISTRESS OF EMPIRES: Napoleon's Josephine, a biography of Josephine Bonaparte, throwing new light on her childhood in Martinique, her imprisonment following the French Revolution and her years as a kept mistress and courtesan before her marriage to and long love affair with Napoleon, to Susanna Porter at Ballantine, by Zoe Pagnamenta at the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency, on behalf of Simon Trewin, and to Paul Sidey at Hutchinson, by Simon Trewin at United Agents.


Billy Joel's memoir, written with Fred Schruers, to David Hirshey at Harper, sold a while ago but just becoming public, by Amanda Urban at ICM.

PhD in English and Creative Writing from Binghamton University, Margaux Fragoso's TIGER, TIGER, about the author's disturbing relationship with a much older man that began at a city pool in New Jersey when she was seven and lasted until his suicide when she was twenty-two, showing vividly how a pedophile enchants his victim and binds her to him in what the publisher calls, in its own troubling way, the saddest love story you will ever hear, to Courtney Hodell at Farrar, Straus, in a pre-empt, for publication in winter 2011, by Terra Chalberg at the Susan Golomb Agency (world).

"Saturday Night Live" veteran Jim Breuer's memoir, about his unique career choices, family, fame and life in general, to Patrick Mulligan of Gotham, in a pre-empt, to Peter McGuigan of Foundry Literary + Media.

Glen Finland's NEXT STOP, about the summer the author and her 21-year-old autistic son spent riding the Washington, DC metro system together with the hope of him being able to go solo and be the first step towards his independence, to Amy Einhorn at Amy Einhorn Books, in a pre-empt, by Richard Abate at 3 Arts Entertainment (world).

Dr. Randy Christensen's ASK ME WHY I HURT, an inspiring memoir about his ten years of heroic medical outreach to homeless adolescents in Phoenix, AZ, to Diane Salvatore at Broadway with Lorraine Glennon editing, at auction, by Richard Pine and Nathaniel Jacks at Inkwell Management (world).


Bestselling author of THE WORLD WITHOUT US Alan Weisman's COUNTDOWN, a provocative investigation into the future of humanity on the planet, following John Parsley to Little, Brown, by Nicholas Ellison at Nicholas Ellison (world English).

Andrew Blum's TUBES: A Physical Journey to our Virtual World, a narrative tour of the back-of-house of our digital lives, bringing readers to a vast hidden corner of our everyday world, the physical infrastructure of the Internet, and describing the story of its development, how it works, and the fascinating characters who run it, to Matt Weiland at Ecco, at auction, by Zoe Pagnamenta at the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency (NA).


Richard Schickel's CLINT EASTWOOD: A Retrospective, aiming for a definitive look at the film icon, featuring rare images from the Warner Bros. archive, to Michael Fragnito at Sterling, for publication in April 2010, by Colin Webb at Palazzo Editions (world English).
French rights to Flammarion; German to Edel; Finnish to Otava.


Leading researcher Diana Reiss's MINDING DOLPHINS: A Scientist's Journey Inside the Minds of Dolphins and Whales, and My Mission to Save Them, a tour of dolphin and whale intelligence, combining stories of Humphrey the humpback whale and her many dolphin companions, with Reiss's activism to save dolphins and whales from wholesale slaughter, to Bruce Nichols at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for publication in Fall 2011, by John Brockman at Brockman (NA).


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Information vs It's Secret.....

From Secrecy News:

Secrecy News Blog:



"No information may remain classified indefinitely," according to a draft of an Obama Administration executive order on national security classification policy.

As a statement of principle, this may seem tame and self-evident. But until now, no Administration has been willing to make such a categorical statement about the temporal limits of national security secrecy, and it may have significant policy consequences.

An August 4 draft of the executive order (pdf) was prepared by an interagency task force in response to a May 27 memorandum from the President. The draft is still subject to revision, and has not yet been formally transmitted to the White House for review and approval. Release of the "highly deliberative draft" executive order was specifically denied by National Security Advisory Gen. James L. Jones in a September 2, 2009 letter (pdf). But a copy was obtained by Secrecy News. Some aspects of the draft order were previously reported by Bill Gertz in the Washington Times on September 24.

The draft order, which does not represent anything like a transformation of the existing secrecy system, nevertheless has some valuable and innovative features, as well as some disappointing omissions, and a few retrograde steps. See this side-by-side comparison (pdf) between the August 2009 draft and the current executive order.

The draft order states (section 3.3g) that all records are to be automatically declassified no more than 50 years from the date of origin, with the sole exception of records that would identify a confidential human intelligence source. And even such intelligence records must be declassified no more than 75 years from the date of origin, with no exceptions. This is something new. An existing requirement for "automatic declassification" at 25 years would remain in place, but at the 25 year point there are still nine expansive exemptions to declassification. Under the new policy, the exemptions would diminish over time and then disappear altogether.

The draft would require a "Fundamental Classification Guidance Review," involving a continuing review of all agency classification guides in order "to identify classified information that no longer requires protection and can be declassified" (section 1.9). This is a version of a proposal advanced by Secrecy News (e.g., here and here), and among all of the potential changes to the executive order, it was our top priority. If it worked, the fundamental review would introduce a dynamic new element of self-correction into the classification process.

A National Declassification Center would be established to facilitate interagency review of historical records and to resolve quality control issues, presumably leading to more complete and expeditious access to such declassified records (section 3.7).

Other constructive if not bold steps include: new requirements for training of classification officials in avoiding overclassification; a requirement to identify by name those who derivatively classify information originally classified by others in order to improve accountability; a higher threshold for reclassification of declassified information; provisions for review of previously granted exemptions of file series from 25 year automatic declassification.

On the less constructive side, the draft order affirms that "no agency may declassify information that originated in another agency... without the consent of the originating agency" (section 3.1f). This reinforces a cherished view that agencies "own" the information they produce, and that they retain control over its release and dissemination. It is arguably the single most profound conceptual flaw in the classification system, and it immeasurably complicates the declassification and disclosure process. Even the new National Declassification Center will not possess unilateral authority to declassify information, but will only provide "timely and appropriate processing of referrals" from one agency to another.

The draft order does not make any provision for a "declassification database" that would offer easily accessible electronic versions of declassified records, or at least bibliographic data on exactly what has been declassified.

The draft does not provide enhanced oversight or declassification authority to the Information Security Oversight Office.

The draft would perpetuate the veto authority that was granted to the CIA by the Bush Administration over declassification decisions made by the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel, but it would transfer that authority from the CIA to the Director of National Intelligence. CIA's seat on the interagency Panel would be reassigned to the DNI.

Beyond the ongoing battles over parochial agency interests that are at stake in the new draft, there seems to be a growing sense that the existing secrecy system, even if it is to be buffed and polished one more time, has finally reached obsolescence.

"As soon as we complete our revision of the existing Order," wrote Gen. Jones on September 2, "I plan to begin discussions... about a more fundamental transformation of the security classification system."


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Some More Good Books....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly...


Meg Mitchell Moore's THE ARRIVALS, set in Vermont, about three siblings who return to their parents' home for the summer and must contend with the adult problems they've brought with them under their childhood roof, to Reagan Arthur at Reagan Arthur Books, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, by Elisabeth Weed at Weed Literary (World English).

Twitter phenom Matt Stewart's humorous epic of one dysfunctional family's quest for fame and power in present-day San Francisco, written in a loose parallel of the French Revolution, to Denise Oswald at Soft Skull, by Lisa Grubka at Foundry Literary + Media (NA).


Executive producer and show runner of TV's "24," Howard Gordon's THE OBELISK, a thriller that follows Washington insider Gideon Davis as he becomes embroiled in a vast global conspiracy involving oil, terrorism, pirates, and politics, to Stacy Creamer at Touchstone Fireside (and Pocket for paperback), for publication beginning in fall 2010, plus a sequel at Richard Abate at 3 Arts Entertainment (world).


Whitbread award winner Susan Fletcher's story of a condemned witch as she describes her role in a gruesome massacre to a man who, despite being initially convinced of her guilt, begins to see the truth, to Jill Bialosky at Norton, in a very nice deal, for publication in Fall 2010, by Grainne Fox at Fletcher & Company on behalf of Vivienne Schuster at Curtis Brown, UK (NA).

A bestseller in South Korea, Shin Kyong-sook's PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOM, chronicling a family's shock and despair following the matriarch's disappearance, as the mystery of one Mom illuminates the mysteries of all moms, to Robin Desser at Knopf, in a pre-empt, for publication in May 2011, by Barbara Zitwer at Barbara Zitwer Agency (US). UK/Commonwealth rights to Arzu Tahsin for Weidenfeld & Nicolson, also in a pre-empt.

The Sixteen Pleasures and The Fall of a Sparrow author Robert Hellenga's SNAKEWOMAN OF LITTLE EGYPT, the story of an anthropology professor who becomes fascinated with a community of evangelical snake-handlers in rural Illinois, and falls in love with a woman from there who's recently shot her preacher husband, to Nancy Miller at Bloomsbury, by Henry Dunow at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner (World).


Author of THE FAMILY Jeff Sharlet's C STREET, an new investigation into religious fundamentalism and American politics, to Geoff Shandler and John Parsley at Little, Brown, for publication in 2010, by Kathleen Anderson at Anderson Literary Management (world).

Author of THE ASSASSINS' GATE George Packer's untitled book offering new perspective on post-Obama America, and INTERESTING TIMES, a collection of essays written since 9/11 (NA), for publication in November 2009, to Jonathan Galassi at Farrar, Straus, for publication in 2011, by Kathleen Anderson at Anderson Literary Management (world, excl. UK).

Spy for the CIA against the Iranian government Reza Kahlili's A TIME TO BETRAY, the story of life in Iran in the time of the last shah, the spirit that led to his overthrow in 1979, the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini, the way the ayatollah and his mullahs stripped people of their freedom, and the way some people chose to engage in a fight that continues to this very day, to Anthony Ziccardi of Pocket, by Peter Miller of PMA Literary & Film Management.


Boston University journalism professor Mitchell Zuckoff's SHANGRI-LA: The Epic True Story of a World War II Plane Crash Into the Stone Age, a story of war, survival, heroism and a near-impossible rescue mission three months before the end of the war, as an American pilot crashes in New Zealand mountains inhabited by the Dani tribesman, with the three survivors ultimately saved in dramatic fashion, to Jonathan Burnham and Claire Wachtel at Harper, for publication in spring 2011, by Richard Abate of 3 Arts Entertainment (world).


Caitlin Kelly's RETAIL THERAPY, an eye-opening account of working in retail, from an author who, finding herself unemployed at 50, got a job at the mall and a new perspective on work and life, to Courtney Young at Portfolio, in a very nice deal, for publication in Spring 2011, by Kathleen Anderson at Anderson Literary Management (World).


Former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete's NOT MY BOY!: A Dad's Journey with Autism, a look inside his journey raising an autistic son, a look that provides inspiration and help for families facing big child-raising challenges, to Barbara Jones at Hyperion, at auction, for publication in April 2010, by Jason Anthony at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin and Jennifer Gates at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency (world English).


NYT reporter Charles Duhigg's THE POWER OF HABIT: What the New Science of Habit Formation Can Teach Us About How We Live, Work, Spend, Build and Succeed, to Andy Ward at Random House, in a pre-empt, by Scott Moyers at The Wylie Agency.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Crazy Like A Fox...the book...

From the co-author:


The publication of my book, Crazy Like a Fox: One Principal’s Triumph
in the Inner City, is almost here!

On September 1, the New American Library (a division of Penguin) will
release the hardcover version, which will be available at Barnes &
Noble, Borders, other major chains, and independent bookstores. You
can also order the book online.

For those of you unfamiliar with the content of Crazy Like a Fox: One
Principal’s Triumph in the Inner City, here’s a brief description:

“Litter-strewn and rundown with unsupervised students and horrible
test scores and attendance rates, American Indian Public Charter
School (AIPCS) in Oakland, CA, hung rightfully on the brink of
closure. Dr. Ben Chavis said he'd like to take over the school, then
referred to as ‘the zoo.’ Was Chavis crazy? After being appointed
principal, he raised the bar with an approach that would make most
educators tremble and set the school apart as one of the finest middle
schools in all of California.”

I worked for Dr. Ben Chavis in Oakland as a teacher and administrator
for four years, and during that time I developed the book idea. After
trying different stylistic approaches, I wrote the story of AIPCS’s
remarkable turnaround in Chavis’s own no-nonsense voice. In essence, I
wrote his memoir. As a result, Crazy Like a Fox is like a “celebrity”
book with author credits of “By Dr. Ben Chavis with Carey Blakely.”


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Interesting & Surprising Books...

From Publishers Lunch Weekly...


Former advertising executive John Verdon's debut novel THINK OF A NUMBER, about a super-intelligent killer who lures potential victims by taunting them to think of random numbers, and then, by seeming to read their minds, directs their actions toward a diabolical outcome, as well as two additional novels featuring the same protagonist, pitched as a cross between Thomas Harris and Michael Connelly, to Rick Horgan at Crown, at auction, for three books, for publication beginning in the summer of 2010, by Molly Friedrich at Friedrich Agency (NA).

Daniel Johnson's ELECTRIC, taking place in Detroit in the early 1900s; the stories explore a forgotten part of the Car and whole Industrial Revolution, to Daniela Rapp of St. Martin's, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, by Cherry Weiner at Cherry Weiner Literary Agency.


Stephen J. Cannell's next two books in the Shane Scully series, again to Charles Spicer at St. Martin's, by Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group.


Dana Haynes's CRASHERS, in which a jetliner crashes in the lush lovely Willamette Valley of Oregon, triggering a response from the NTSB team of "crashers"-the investigators; usually they have months to find the cause of the crash; this time it's 70 hours, to Keith Kahla at Minotaur, in a two-book deal, for publication in Spring 2010, by Janet Reid at FinePrint Literary Management (world).Film:


Another 17 books by James Patterson, covering publication through 2012, including eleven adult titles for hardcover publication by Little, Brown and paperbacks by Grand Central, with new installments in the Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, and Women's Murder Club series, and his previously-announced collaboration with Scandinavian crime writer Liza Marklund, plus six titles for young readers from Little, Brown Children's, including new titles in the Maximum Ride, Daniel X and forthcoming Witch & Wizard series, but also including stand-alone novels, summer thrillers, nonfiction books, and "other surprises," by Robert Barnett and Deneen Howell at Williams & Connolly (NA).


Former SNL star Molly Shannon's TILLY THE TRICKSTER, introducing Tilly, a mischievous trickster who loves April Fool's Day; when Tilly takes one of her pranks too far, hard lessons are learned (but only kinda), to Tamar Brazis at Abrams Children's, by Tina Wexler at ICM (NA).

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day author Judith Viorst and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales Lane Smith's LULU AND THE BRONTOSAURUS, to Namrata Tripathi at Atheneum, by Robert Lescher of Lescher & Lescher for Viorst, and Steven Malk of Writers House for Smith.


Eric Jay Dolin's FAR EASTERN FORTUNE: THE AMERICAN CHINA TRADE IN THE AGE OF SAIL, a history of 80 years of nautical, commercial, and cultural adventure that laid the groundwork for today's complex relationship with China, to Robert Weil at Norton, for publication in 2011, by Russell Galen at Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency (NA).


Santa Monica-based interior designer Tim Clarke with Jake Townsend's COASTAL MODERN, a photography book of residences that demonstrates how to achieve the sense of comfort and ease of a beach house in an elegant, sophisticated, and modern way, by the designer who started his career working with Michael S. Smith and who has now designed homes for Ben Stiller, Portia de Rossi, James Spader, Matthew Perry, and more, to Aliza Fogelson at Clarkson Potter, by Jason Anthony at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin (World).

Tim Gunn's GUNN'S GOLDEN RULES: Life's Little Instructions for Making It Work, applying old-world values to modern situations, from the lost art of etiquette to practical advice, showing how to navigate life and unflappably rise to any occasion, to Patrick Price at Simon Spotlight Entertainment, for publication in June 2010, by Peter Steinberg at The Steinberg Agency (world).

MEMOIR: blogger W. Hodding Carter's WITHIN OUR MEANS, in which the author and his family of six aims to live on their actual yearly income instead of the more than three times that amount they have been, growing their own food, raising chickens and goats, hunting and fishing, converting their car so that it runs on French fry oil, chopping wood to fuel a stove and giving up luxuries like coffee, wine and processed foods, to Kathy Pories at Algonquin, by Sally Wofford-Girand of Brick House.

Ozzy Osbourne's I AM OZZY, the heavy metal pioneer's outrageous story in his own words, for the very first time, to Ben Greenberg at Grand Central, by Diane Spivey at Little Brown UK.


Travel + Leisure editor Luke Barr's PROVENCE 1970, a narrative portrait of the brief but seminal moment in world food history when, in the fall and winter of 1970, Julia Child, Simone Beck, James Beard, Richard Olney, and Barr's great aunt, M.F.K. Fisher, lived as neighbors together in the south of France -- cooking, eating, talking, writing, and forever changing the culture of American cuisine -- to Doris Cooper and Emily Takoudes at Clarkson Potter, at auction, by David Kuhn at Kuhn Projectss (world).


Astronomer, NPR host, and Farmer's Almanac science editor Bob Berman's THE STRANGE HEARTBEAT OF SUN, contemplating the sun's fascinating, fundamental role in crop yields, weather vagaries, human health, life on Earth - and other unexpected facts arising from scientists' 400 year-old study of Earth's closest star, to John Parsley at Little, Brown, in a pre-empt, by Al Zuckerman at Writers House (World).


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Running for Congress....


Just had a phone call from Budd McLeroy. Budd is an Army Master Sgt, Iraq vet, former firefighter, and did it all with one leg. You'd never know because if there's anything he's not, it's disabled. He's also a Republican.

In any case, he's an old friend. He'll be pulling his papers and entering the race for Congress, running against Dem Bob Filner. Both are from the Chula Vista area, just south of the city of San Diego, CA.

I've never known Budd to back down from anything, so if he says he's going to run for Congress, he surely will.

I wished him luck, but as a Democrat, I hope he loses. But narrowly.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Selection of Books...

From Publishers Lunch Weekly...



Jacob Ritari's TAROKO GORGE, the story of three Japanese girls who go missing and the international cast of characters left to figure out what happened, to Fred Ramey at Unbridled Books, in a nice deal, for publication in spring 2010, by Eve Bridburg at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency (world).


Fiction author of AGAINST GRAVITY and winner of the Faulkner Society's annual award Lucy Ferris's THE WOMAN WHO BOUGHT THE SKY, set in Albany, New York 100 years before the American Revolution, in which a woman who to keep her family secure stays in an unhappy marriage and turns away the love of her life rather than risk losing precious, hard-worn land holdings, to David Hartwell at Tor, by Al Zuckerman of Writers House (NA).


Tricia Springstubb's FOX HEART, pitched as in the vein of Kate DiCamillo, the story of a girl's extraordinary summer, when her neighborhood and family change forever, to Donna Bray at Balzer & Bray, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2010, by Sarah Davies at the Greenhouse Literary Agency (NA).


Stephanie Perkins's ANNA AND THE BOY MASTERPIECE, in which American Anna Oliphant spends a year in a Parisian boarding school and falls for her multi-national classmate, plus a companion novel, LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, to Julie Strauss-Gabel at Dutton Children's, in a very nice deal, at auction, for publication in Fall 2010, by Kate Schafer Testerman at kt literary (World English).



Author of Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix Steven Roby and journalist Brad Schreiber's BECOMING JIMI: From Southern Crossroads to Swinging London, the Making of a Musical Genius, a look at the seminal five-year period of Jimi Hendrix's life, from 1962 to 1966, in which he played on the "chitlin' circuit" -- cutting his chops playing with such legendary acts as Little Richard, Ike and Tina Turner, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, the Isley Brothers and dozens of bar bands -- in the segregated Deep South, followed by cult buzz in coffeehouses in Greenwich Village, and finally contrasting with the superstardom he would soon find in London, to Ben Schafer at Da Capo, by Matthew Carnicelli at Trident Media Group (world English).


Former WSJ economics reporter and now US economics editor for The Economist Greg Ip's untitled book on economics, to Debra Englander at Wiley, in a pre-empt, by Howard Yoon of the Gail Ross Literary Agency (world).


Pulitzer Prize-winner, Philadelphia Daily News writer and author of TEAR DOWN THIS MYTH Will Bunch's REBELS WITHOUT A CLUE: The Threat to America from an Armed, Apocalyptic Right-Wing Minority, a chronicle of a new American dystopia of extreme talk and extreme actions in the Obama era, to Matt Harper at Harper, at auction, for publication in 2010, by Will Lippincott at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin (NA).


Actor and screenwriter Marianne Leone Cooper's THE RUNNING MADONNA, a loving memoir of raising her son Jesse, a nonverbal child afflicted with cerebral palsy, with her husband, actor Chris Cooper, to Priscilla Painton at Simon & Schuster, by Colleen Mohyde of Doe Coover Agency.

Emmy award-winning actress who played Mary Ingalls Melissa Anderson's memoir of "Little House on the Prairie," to Erin Turner of Globe Pequot, by Laura Dail at Laura Dail Literary Agency (World English).


Shing-Tung Yau and Steve Nadis's THE SHAPE OF INNER SPACE: Surveying the Geometry of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions, an argument, by the leading mind behind the mathematics of string theory, for the fundamental importance of geometry to our understanding of our universe, to T.J. Kelleher at Basic, in a good deal, for publication in Fall 2011, by John Brockman at Brockman (NA).

Psychologist Matthew Hertenstein's PREVISIONING: Thin Slicing and the Surprising Truth About the Power of Prediction, a look at how we can use subtle clues to predict human behavior, from who'll get divorced to who'll win an election, to T.J. Kelleher at Basic, in a very nice deal, for publication in Summer 2011, by Shannon O'Neill at The Sagalyn Agency (World).


John Glatt's story of the abduction of Jaycee Lee Dugard in 1991 by registered sex offender Phillip Garrido, to Charles Spicer at St. Martin's, by Peter Miller of PMA Literary & Film Management.


Sunday, September 06, 2009

We want HEALTH CARE...

But one thing seems to be forgotten:



Got that? So...come Wed evening, the President is going to speak to Congress and PROPOSE.

Once that's done, guess what the Congress is gonna do. It's gonna DISPOSE. And there's no way in hell to know what the outcome will be until the votes are counted.

If Health Care with a public option doesn't pass it will be the fault of the Congress, not the President. He can only sign or veto.


Monday, August 31, 2009

Keeping or Telling Secrets...

From Secrecy News:

Secrecy News Blog:


Two 90-day interagency reviews of government secrecy policies that were ordered by President Obama on May 27 are now essentially complete.

A review of the current executive order on classification policy is finished except for a few "sticky" issues pertaining to intelligence agency authorities, according to one participant in the interagency process. The recommendations of that review have not yet been transmitted to the White House. A separate review of procedures for handling "controlled unclassified information" (CUI) produced recommendations that were sent to the White House last week, though the contents have not been disclosed.

Both reviews were the subject of considerable public comment, and the resulting recommendations include at least some proposed changes that are directly traceable to public input, the participant said. But he also cautioned against overly high expectations for the outcome, especially given the insular character of the deliberative process, which was dominated by agency classification personnel. "You've got a bunch of foxes designing security for the henhouse," he said.

The recommendations that were produced by the interagency reviews must still be reviewed by the White House and then approved or modified, a process that could take months. A decision on whether to invite additional public comment has not yet been announced.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Two Films & Lots of Books On The Way....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


RWA Golden Heart winner Darynda Jones' FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT and two subsequent novels featuring a heroine who is a private investigator and has a side job as a grim reaper, to Jennifer Enderlin at St. Martin's, in a pre-empt, by Alexandra Machinist at Linda Chester (NA).


PEN-nominated author of UNDISCOVERED GYRL Allison Burnett's DEATH BY SUNSHINE, concluding his B.K. Troop trilogy with this story of a flamboyant, aging New York City bon vivant who visits Los Angeles for the first time and finds himself embroiled in a murder case, to Don Weise at Alyson Books, for publication in Fall 2010, by Eric Myers at The Spieler Agency (World English).

Dave Madden's THE AUTHENTIC ANIMAL: Inside the Odd and Obsessive World of Taxidermy, an intriguing look at the relationship between animals and the humans who painstakingly preserve them in life-like form, to Michael Flamini at St. Martin's, in a nice deal, by Gail Hochman at Brandt & Hochman (world English).


Kerstin Gier's RUBY RED trilogy, in which a 16-year old discovers her family's time-travel gene when she mysteriously lands in the last century, to Laura Godwin at Holt Children's, by Alex Webb at Rights People, on behalf of Arena Verlag (NA).


Winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers' Prize Lawrence Hill's THE BOOK OF NEGROES, to producers Damon D'Oliveira and Clement Virgo, who will also direct, by Ellen Levine of Trident Media Group in association with Jody Hotchkiss of Hotchkiss & Associates.

Tish Cohen's INSIDE OUT GIRL, optioned to writing/producing team Steven Pearl and Allison Burnett, by Kassie Evashevski at UTA, on behalf of Daniel Lazar at Writers House.



John Jenkins's REHNQUIST, a biography of the most influential, and least understood, chief justice in the court's modern era that will probe the origins of Rehnquist's conservatism; show his hand as a young justice intent on approving the death penalty and slowing the spread of abortion rights; and draw vivid pictures of his presiding role in the most important judicial decisions of our time, to Clive Priddle at Public Affairs, by Jane Dystel at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (NA).

Case Western Reserve University comic book scholar Bradley Ricca's SUPER BOYS: JERRY SIEGEL, JOE SHUSTER, AND THE CREATION OF SUPERMAN, the first-ever biography of the creators of Superman, detailing the complex lifelong collaboration and occasional betrayals, private dramas and public struggles, that accompanied their creation of perhaps the most iconic fictional figure of the 20th century, to Michael Homler at St. Martin's, by Scott Mendel at the Mendel Media Group (World English).

BUSINESS/INVESTING/FINANCE... founder Merlin Mann's INBOX ZERO, exploring the popular myths about "email organization," and provides an inspiring blueprint for managing our attention and making things that matter, to Julia Cheiffetz at Harper Studio, by Pilar Queen at McCormick & Williams Literary Agency (world).


UCLA cardiologist Dr. Barbara Natterson Horowitz and journalist Kathryn Bowers's ZOOBIQUITY, describing a new, species-spanning approach to health which explores the surprising overlaps between animal and human disease, and encourages collaboration between veterinarians and human doctors to the benefit of both, to Jordan Pavlin at Knopf, in a pre-empt, by Tina Bennett at Janklow & Nesbit (NA).


Journalist and editor for Foreign Affairs, Newsweek International, and Foreign Policy William Dobson's book on the changing nature of modern dictatorship, telling the story of the hidden, unconventional battle between 21st century authoritarians and the dissidents that target their tyranny, arguing that authoritarian regimes have evolved amidst new technologies and changing definitions of political liberty, to Kris Puopolo at Doubleday, in a pre-empt, by Will Lippincott of Lippincott Massie McQuilkin (World).


Willard professor of classics, professor of history and fellow of the Archaeology Centre at Stanford University, and author of the forthcoming WHY THE WEST RULES...FOR NOW Ian Morris's WAR: WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR, combining history, current affairs and cultural evolution, to explain that in the long-run, war has made us richer and safer, but the next 20 years will be vital to the planet as a race develops between a war to end all wars, and technological changes that may allow us to manage war successfully, to Daniel Crewe at Profile, by Arabella Stein at Abner Stein, on behalf of Sandy Dijkstra at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency (UK).


Thursday, August 27, 2009

You ain't heard it all yet...Listen & watch...

Received this in email. As a writer friend said, "This wingnut has had his threads stripped." I'd say his brain is contaminated and needs bleaching...tho that probably wouldn't help. Try to watch without gagging.



Friday, August 21, 2009

New Books On the Way....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Volume rights to Shane Jones' LIGHT BOXES, a short novel about a small town that wages war against February that was just optioned by Spike Jonze (who is collaborating with Jones on the screenplay), to Tom Roberge at Penguin, by Bill Clegg at William Morris Endeavor (NA).
UK rights to Simon Prosser at Hamish Hamilton, in a pre-empt.

Stegner Fellow and Stanford/UCSF creative writing professor Alice LaPlante's TURN OF MIND, pitched as having a Patricia Highsmith-esque mystery at its heart, in which the narrator, a brilliant surgeon with Alzheimer's-related dementia, is suspected of killing a neighbor who was her best friend and most worthy adversary, to Morgan Entrekin and Elisabeth Schmitz at Grove/Atlantic, for publication in Winter 2011, by Victoria Skurnick at the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (world).
Foreign rights to Goldmann in Germany and Orlando in Holland, in pre-empts.

David Hilton's KINGS OF COLORADO, in which a man reflects back on his childhood when, at age 13, he stabbed his abusive father in the chest and was sentenced to two years at a boys reformatory ranch in Colorado, where corruption was the norm, and troubled boys learned to fend for themselves as they cared for and broke wild horses that were just as willful and untamed as the boys themselves, to Kerri Kolen at Simon & Schuster, at auction, by Laney Katz Becker at Folio Literary Management (NA).


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of the Ethan Gage historical fiction series (NAPOLEON'S PYRAMIDS, THE ROSETTA KEY, THE DAKOTA CIPHER), William Dietrich's next two novels, THE SHAMBHALA IMPERATIVE, alternating between the 1930s and the present, combining occult Nazi theories, neo-Nazis and contemporary science elements in an adventure revolving around a government conspiracy, and another novel continuing the adventures of 19th century American adventurer Ethan Gage, again to Rakesh Satyal at Harper, by Andrew Stuart at The Stuart Agency (world).


Michelle Cove's SHAKE UP THE FAIRYTALE!, a guide that helps single women deal with all stages of "singlehood" and gives them the tools they need to navigate through a changing culture and social order that is still based on "couples," while reassuring single women that happily-ever-after is a lifelong approach to nourishing their sense of well-being, to Gabrielle Moss at Tarcher, at auction, for publication in Fall 2010, by Laney Katz Becker at Folio Literary Management (world English).


Professor of French at Boston University Elizabeth Goldsmith's THE CARDINAL'S NIECES, on the adventures of Marie and Hortense Mancini, privileged sisters raised in the court of Louis XIV who fled their husbands and children to travel throughout Europe, gaining notoriety for their roles as gamblers, cross-dressers, mistresses to various kings, and pioneering women writers, to Lindsay Jones at Public Affairs, for publication in Fall 2011, by Erika Storella at The Gernert Company (world).


Retiring Los Angeles chief of police William J. Bratton's business book about the strategic importance of collaboration in today's networked world, co-authored by management expert Zachary Tumin, to Roger Scholl at Broadway Business, for publication in spring 2011, by Alice Martell of Alice Martell Agency.


Yale historian and author of The Dynamite Club John Merriman's THE PARIS COMMUNE OF 1871, the first account for the general reader of the dramatic uprising in which the working class of Paris took up arms against the French government, inspiring Marx, Engels and Bakunin at the time and later Trotsky, Lenin, and Mao as a model of the 'dictatorship of the proletariat,' to Lara Heimert at Basic, in a pre-empt, to Melissa Chinchillo at Fletcher & Company (NA).

Samuel Johnson Prize-winning historian Antony Beevor's one-volume history of World War II, to Geoff Shandler at Little, Brown and Weidenfeld & Nicolson in the UK, for publication in 2012, by Andrew Nurnberg at Andrew Nurnberg Associates (world English).

Marie Claire editor Yael Kohen's WE KILLED: The History of Women in American Comedy, a first-ever oral history of women in American comedy, constructed from interviews with more than 50 of the nation's most prominent female comedians, recounting the trials, tribulations, and thrills of being a woman in the male-dominated comedy world from the 1950s to present, to Sarah Crichton at Sarah Crichton Books, at auction, by David Kuhn of Kuhn Projects (NA).


Science policy expert Roger Pielke, Jr.'s NO REGRETS: A Common-Sense Approach to Climate Change, an important look at how to get our response to climate change back on track after more than a decade of failure, to T.J. Kelleher at Basic, in a nice deal, for publication in Fall 2010, by Kris Dahl at ICM (World).

24-year-old Brown grad Brian Christian's book about artificial intelligence and communication framed as an inquiry into what makes us human, to Bill Thomas at Doubleday, at auction, by Janet Silver at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency.


Former Nation editor and regular Harper's contributor JoAnn Wypijewski's untitled book on class in America, a cross-country road trip (pitched as in the merged spirits of de Tocqueville, What's the Matter with Kansas? and On the Road) to get at the heart of the strained-and-cracking class structure that defines and divides America, to Eric Chinski at Farrar, Straus, by Bill Clegg at William Morris Endeavor (NA).

Kevin Birmingham's THE MOST DANGEROUS MASTERPIECE, an account of the writing of James Joyce's Ulysses and the subsequent fight over its publication, with appearances by Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Beach, Nora Barnacle, the obsessed censor Anthony Comstock, and the devilishly crafty Bennett Cerf, to Nick Trautwein at the Penguin Press, for publication in Fall 2012, by Suzanne Gluck at William Morris Endeavor.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Carrying On....

Thought it about time I say something in this space. Sure is enough going on in the world to talk about...little of it good.

No matter. Good comes first. In my case, good is breakfast on Acapulco's sidewalk patio. Arrived there this morning, LA Times and San Diego Union-Tribune newspapers in hand as always to find that Castro had already parked a thermos pot of hot coffee, a mug and an ashtray on my usual table.

Now that's what I call special. The staff at Acapulco about spoils me to death.

Anyway, I settled in, pulled the Sports pages out of both papers...I'm not interested in sports...and put them on the far side of the table for whichever manager was on duty, then settled in to begin reading the front section of the Times.

Shortly, Castro came with breakfast. Since I have exactly the same thing every morning, it's not necessary for me to order. Staff already knows what I want and how I want it. I tucked money under the menu caddy and he made change. Works like a charm.

The Health Care plan argument rages on, as does the situation between the Kurds and the Iraqis over that slice of land between them, so the US forces are gonna try and keep the peace there until there's some kind of a mutually agreed arangement between the two areas. This is good, but hope they get it settled soon so our people can come home.

Storms off the Florida coast. Have friends and family both who live down there. Hope they're well prepared in case one of those storms gets to hurricane size.

Arizona idiots are carrying weapons to places where President Obama is speaking. Serious weapons like AK-47s. Are they that unsure of their manhood that they need to flaunt weapons to show how tough they are? Just pathetic. Also dangerous as hell. "Because I can" one of them said. The NRA ought to be outlawed far as I'm concerned. This shit goes too far. Drives the Secret Service and law enforcement people nuts.

Robert Novak, newsman, has died of brain cancer. Onery as he was, he's a loss to the country. And Dan Rather...royally screwed by CBS as far as I'm concerned. I'm very glad he's not giving up the fight.

US Rep Michelle Bachmann is about as nuts as Sarah Palin. Be a cold day in hell before either of those two ever are elected president..and I don't give a damn what they think God wants them to do. They belong in asylums where their demented rants and raves won't disturb the public airways.